Reinventing premium, on-demand wellness and care in Australia and beyond
At a glance
- Reduced rostering from a full day to 1 hour with Deputy
- Over 40,000 hours of care for patients each week
- Received the Australian Patrons Award for Innovation in Technology
Kate Spurway (RN, EMBA, APNA, MACN), founder and director of NurseWatch, has been nursing for 35 years. Trained in the hospital system, she later earned her EMBA. “That changed my life,” says Kate.
“My passion is the elder persons,” she boasts. “As a career nurse, you only went to the home when things went wrong. On top of that, it’s hard to keep nurses. But there’s a whole new level now of adults who are aging and want technology and a lifestyle choice. And they want wellness.”
So Kate set out to meet that need. In February 2017 she established NurseWatch, Australia’s premier nursing and home care provider.
With up to 22 contractors on staff, it’s not just a job for Kate and her team at NurseWatch. “Each of us values the relationship we build with our clients. That’s fundamental in everything we do.”
And with that, NurseWatch was created as a wellness care social model, where clients can “purchase” time with a contractor. From yoga to wound and skin care, the staff at NurseWatch offer premium care that’s people-centred and inclusive and available in convenient time blocks to fit anyone’s schedule.
"NurseWatch places equal emphasis on care, wellness, and social interaction with each client's health personally managed. NurseWatch aims to initiate the care process earlier on so our clients continue to feel well and we can work on preventing future health and mobility problem."
After more than three decades of rostering, Kate really knew the pain of scheduling. “When you’re rostering by hand, you want to knock yourself out,” remembers Kate. “Pencils and erasers, emails, and chasing up people to reconcile timesheets. I used to sit down for the whole day and sign off timesheets. A full day.”
Her team and Kate don’t have time for that. Instead of going into a home and doing just one task, the staff at NurseWatch go above and beyond to provide complete care to their clients.
“The NurseWatch model places emphasis on wellness,” says Kate. “The NurseWatch system operates in small blocks of time and in extended periods, so care becomes more affordable than conventional services, keeping the focus on quality over quantity. This model provides regular wellness sessions, and these can all be booked by using an online booking process on the NurseWatch website, so by using this service people can access instant, unlimited access to quality care in the home, around the clock.”
And maintaining a healthy and safe environment wasn’t just a challenge for the clients — it was a challenge for the staff that Kate wanted to address.
“One in four people have a mental health issue in the home. On top of that, you have a global pandemic. You need to know where your staff are and who they’ve been exposed to,” says Kate.
Kate knew that these issues couldn’t be handled by traditional rostering methods.
"All the NurseWatch nurses, affectionately called Compassionaires form close, ongoing relationships with their clients, and this gives them the opportunity to monitor the health and general wellbeing of their clients over the course of the relationship and friendship."
After deciding that she can’t move forward with a manual system, Kate discovered Deputy, which she’s been using since she started NurseWatch.
“I went back to our web designers and asked them to code Deputy into our system so we could set up RNs as contractors and compassionaires,” says Kate.
“Deputy is linked to our purchasing system, so a purchaser can then purchase “Kate” under wellness, as a registered massage therapist, and they can purchase me two hours of care,” explains Kate. Both the client and our staff receive a record of the purchase.”
“Xero does our invoicing, and Deputy feeds into Xero,” says Kate. “Our timesheets get uploaded for each allocated client. From there, it’s invoiced. So that’s another secondary check if hours have increased. There are a lot of checks and balances that are done automatically for us.”
That recordkeeping is also exceptional for compliance, an important piece for NurseWatch. In fact, Kate is an auditor and used to work for the Department of Health. “Part of our key performance indicators is referrals, if there’s a clinical piece,” says Kate. “Our staff will write in the notes, wearing slippers today, podiatrist referral required. As an auditor, I need to look at those. Because at the risk and quality compliance meeting, there would be data saying this month has been two referrals to podiatrists. I then look at their files. All of that is marked as a task on Deputy.”
Another important feature of Deputy for NurseWatch has been the flexibility of remotely signing on and off. When staff go into a client’s home, they may find that they need to stay longer to address an issue. And they need to track why.
“Because we have Deputy up all the time for work health and safety, we always know where our staff are,” says Kate. “If they haven’t signed off, we know to find out why. And especially due to COVID-19, we are diligent about checking on our staff and clients. There’s a protocol of if they haven’t logged off — phone call and progress notes.”
The remote clock in also helps with hygiene so when contractors are going into a client’s house, they’ve been able to use their own device to sign on, sanitise their hands, and prepare for a safe shift.
On top of everything, Kate signs off every day on the timesheets. Before it took her a full day. Now it takes no more than an hour.
When Kate isn’t in a home working with a client or rostering, how is she spending her time? “Not on timesheets, that’s for sure,” says Kate. “Developing new products. Following up on cares. Renewing care plans. I’m focused on the people — not the paper.”
"Things don't ever have to be complicated."